Chapter 444: Malice

Chapter 444: Malice [V5C151 – A Distance Within Reach]

This unit was extremely well-equipped. Despite being only one battalion in scale, they were accompanied by over ten military trucks and several mobile heavy cannons. All of the foot-soldiers were on armored transport vehicles.

There were actually two airships accompany this unit. They were only low-grade gunships but, as in-service war vessels, their firepower was far superior to the old airships usually found on Evernight Continent.

Their rate of advancement was so abnormally fast that the sentry on the city walls could already see them before the remote scouts outside of Blackflow City were able to relay the warning.

A Dark Flame sentry suddenly cried out in alarm after seeing the eye-catching Nangong family flag through his binoculars.

This unit stopped a thousand meters away from Blackflow City and assembled assumed formation. They set up their mobile heavy artillery and raised the muzzles toward the city.

The sentry had someone report to the superiors while keeping watch through his binoculars. Suddenly, he saw one of the cannons light up. The soldier’s expression quickly turned to one of despair as he was soon devoured by the smoke and deafening blasts.

At this moment, the spectator could see how the heavy cannons roared in unison, sending flaming streaks over the city walls. The shells then struck each other in the air with incomparable accuracy and exploded in pairs.

This bombardment which resembled a gun-salute should’ve have ended at that, but sudden changes occurred all of a sudden. The segment of the city wall below the explosion split open tumultuously, slowly dragging a sentry tower along with it. The few warriors on top were flung away and left hanging on the nearby walls amidst miserable wails. The others, however, were directly buried under the collapsed masonry.

An ear-piercing alarm rang out over the city as large squads of Dark Flame soldiers charged out of the barracks and headed for their posts. The soldiers who had survived the last battle had already become iron-blooded veterans and fighting had become an instinct flowing throw their veins.

That unit stopped firing after the initial salvo.

“Hold it! Do not fire!” Atop the Blackflow City walls, a certain major cried out while pressing the down the soldiers’ guns one by one.

A petty officer roared back at the officer, “What are you doing? Didn’t you see how many brothers have died? Did we survive those dark race bastards just to die in imperial hands?”

The officer’s expression was solemn. Apparently, he was also suppressing the flames of his anger. “That’s the Nangong family’s army. If we open fire, it’ll be war with the Nangong family. This isn’t a matter we can decide!”

The petty officer was spewing flames out of his eyes but, despite his wrath, he understood that the major was right. Those cannon shots seemed like a form of greeting aimed at bringing Blackflow City down a notch—it was just that a bloody “accident” became involved unexpectedly.

In the Nangong family unit, a mysterious looking man lowered his binoculars and said with a cold, scheming smile, “It seems that Song Zining’s leadership is just so-so.”

An aide beside immediately replied, “How can he compare to our Nangong family’s elites with his meager ability?”

The man waved a finger forward. “Since we’ve sent our greetings, it’s time to go knocking on their doors.” With that, he and the aide boarded a command vehicle which drove toward Blackflow City. A number of vehicles wanted to follow but were stopped with a wave of his hand.

The Dark Flame major became even more cautious after seeing the command vehicle leave the main army and make for their gates. Their heavy weaponry in their hands could deal with a heavy combat vehicle, but not the experts within this car.

A resounding voice suddenly rang out behind him just as the major was hesitating whether to fire a warning shot. “Let them in.”

A steam whistle emitted a short cry as clouds of rolling steam surged out and the newly-repaired city gates rolled toward the sides. The jeep drove straight in without the slightest bit of hesitation.

A man resembling an iron tower stood right in the middle of the city’s main road with his hands behind his back. His gaze was like a blade as he stared at the oncoming jeep, but the vehicle continued roaring straight toward the man!

The man on the road neither moved nor changed his expression. It was as though he didn’t even put the charging jeep in his eyes.

The jeep slowed down abruptly amidst sounds of screeching brakes and finally came to a jolting stop at the very last moment. But the car’s bumper still pressed against the man’s body with a muffled thud. A flash of pallor flitted across the latter’s face which quickly faded away.

The command vehicle doors opened and out walked the secretive man. He glanced at the man blocking the road and said with a nod of approval, “A fierce general actually exists in such a desolate place! How should I address you?”

“Duan Hao.”

The mysterious man nodded. “This seat is Nangong Zhen, and I’ve come to call upon the Seventh Young Noble.” The man clearly came with evil intentions but his speech and manners were polite, a full display of his noble demeanor.

Duan Hao's brows jumped ever so slightly. “Seventh Young Master is already waiting. Please follow me. Additionally, your car may only drive up to this point.”

“That’s fine, I’ll follow you for this trip.” Nangong Zhen made no motion to argue. He ordered his aide to alight, and the two men followed Duan Hao toward the Dark Flame headquarters.

Along the way, Nangong Zhen suddenly said, “Duan Hao, this seat thinks you’re a rare talent. Why don’t you follow me back to Transcendent Continent? The ten thousand elites under my command are yours to pick, and I guarantee to make you a landed gentry as long as you make enough contributions.”

Duan Hao laughed out loud. “I’m a crude person and can’t do much other than fight. Moreover, I’ve long since sold this rotten life to the Seventh Young Master.”

The aide beside them said with a gloomy expression and a cold voice, “With your meager strength, it’s already an honor to be invited by the sire! Don’t…”

Nangong Zhen raised his hand with a frown, stopping the aide from speaking on. Duan Hao, on the other hand, smiled sinisterly at the aide. The aide actually felt an ineffable chill and couldn’t help but tremble momentarily.

Duan Hao was currently rank-eight. Although a faint glow had appeared on this ninth-node, he still wasn’t a rank-nine fighter. But that rare tyrannical momentum surrounding him was akin to one who had killed his way out of a mountain of corpses and a sea of blood. The aide was immediately cowed upon confrontation and overcome by an uncontrollable will to retreat.

Nangong Zhen was even more displeased after seeing this and snorted heavily. He was quite clear that this aide would’ve died without a doubt if he had met Duan Hao on the battlefield. That was also why he was so impressed with Duan Hao.

What kind of character would Song Zining be if even a subordinate was like this? Moreover, Blackflow had another mysterious city lord called Qianye.

It was rumored that Song Zining had charged into the central army and behead the enemy commander. But the Nangong family’s scouts observing the battle had clearly reported that it was Qianye who had charged into the army alone and taken Luther’s head, thus breaking the siege. It was just that this person stopped appearing afterward—clearly, his injuries weren’t light—the perfect opportunity to settle old scores.

Nangong Zhen’s expression turned grave at the thought of this but only slightly—his pride wasn’t reduced at all. Accompanying Duan Hao on this stretch of the road was lowering himself out of respect for the man’s talents and humbling himself to make acquaintances.

Song Zining stood before the study window gazing at the group walking up Dark Flame’s main road. “So, it’s Nangong Zhen? Interesting.”

Nangong Zhen made his name quite some time ago commanding armies outside, mainly fighting against the other races. He recently joined the elder assembly to become one of the Nangong family’s youngest elders.

Behind Song Zining, Song Hu was reporting the shot fired by the Nangong army upon their arrival. Song Zining’s expression was just as carefree and unfettered.

Nangong Zhen walked into the study after a short while, shot Song Zining a deep glance without any greetings and sat down imposingly as though he were the owner of this place.

Absolutely furious, Song Hu and Duan Hao stepped forward in order to berate the man. However, a stare from Nangong Zhen sent a mountainous pressure down upon their bodies—the two found it difficult to breathe and their bones began to creak and groan.

Duan Hao and Song Hu were high established high-ranking officers, but they were a far cry for an expert like Nangong Zhen in terms of strength.

“How can you be so rude to Sire Nangong?” With that, Song Zining waved his hand and indicated Duan Hao and Song Hu to retreat. The pressure upon them also gradually faded away.

Song Zining’s expression was just as before and didn’t seem to mind Nangong Zhen’s discourtesy at all. He brushed away his wide sleeve and sat down calmly across the guest, completely ignoring the near-tangible sharpness of the latter’s gaze.

A trace of astonishment flashed through Nangong Zhen’s eyes. “Hearsay is indeed inferior to meeting in person. Seventh Young Noble is indeed a young hero. It’s no wonder you’re able to win the battle of Blackflow City.”

Song Zining said with a smile, “It’s just luck. I really don’t deserve Sir Nangong’s praise. I wonder what brings you here?”

Nangong Zhen didn’t reply and only asked, “Where’s the lord of your esteemed city?”

Song Zining raised his brows and pointed beneath his feet. “This humble one is enough to decide everything on this land.” He was suddenly alarmed while saying this—Qianye’s isolated cultivation couldn’t be kept a secret. What was Nangong Zhen planning?

Nangong Zhen snorted heavily and banged on the armest. “That Qianye killed so many disciples from our Nangong clan. Does he think he can just hide away in isolated cultivation? Have him come out and receive his death!”

At the last word, Nangong Zhen’s expression was severe and his origin power erupted with a boom. A sudden, violent storm swept through the study and sent all the bookcases and chairs flying, causing them to shatter upon the walls.

Song Hu was sent flying and crashed into the wall with blood spurting out of his mouth. Duan Hao roared loudly as he did his utmost to resist, but he was still pushed back under the pressure, leaving deep footprints on the ground. Even the aide Nangong Zhen had brought along was pale and retreated continuously until he managed to stabilize himself against the wall.

Only Song Zining remained calmly seated in the study, but his clothes were flying in the wind. The only intact pieces of furniture within the room were the chairs under Song Zining and Nangong Zhen.

Song Zining’s expression turned as gloomy as still water. “Nangong Zhen! This land is under the Iron Curtain! Everyone will suffer if you’re not careful!”

“So what?” Nangong Zhen let out a sinister laugh as he continued to increase his origin power.

Half the wall between the study and the small plaza outside collapsed with a loud rumble as Song Hu, Duan Hao, and Nangong Zhen’s aide were swept away. Meanwhile, a vortex of qi started to form within the room.

At this moment, the atmosphere throughout the entire Blackflow City became stifling. Ripples flashed through the unchanging grey sky like a lake into which someone had thrown a rock. These nearly-negligible waves, however, didn’t calm down completely. It felt as though the sky had sunk down a bit and was continuing to descend. An enormous and inexplicable aura was brewing above, and it caused everyone to shiver.

Only experts at a certain level would be able to sense this world-changing aura of terror. Most ordinary people sensed nothing, but they suddenly became jittery as though an explosive voice was roaring in their hearts, making them unable to calm down.

Song Zining was both alarmed and angered because he had already understood Nangong Zhen’s intentions at this point.

Apparently, he had already heard that Qianye was in isolated cultivation to treat his injuries. This was a time when he shouldn’t be agitated. The man had run over here to draw upon Sky Demon’s aura and agitate the whole of Blackflow City in a bid to heavily injure Qianye. Sky Demon’s aura will was far-reaching under the Iron Curtain—the stronger the expert, the more deeply they would sense it. This was not something a mere wall could isolate.

Once agitated by Sky Demon’s aura, Qianye might suffer injuries to his spirit and even damage his foundations, stripping him of all future development. Nangong Zhen’s method could be considered extremely malicious.

Nangong Zhen sneered as he sat straight like a pillar and deftly maintained his origin power at the threshold. It was just enough for Sky Demon’s aura to sweep past the city but not enough to attract his terrifying gaze.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

Thanks for the kind words everyone ^_^ We're at such an exciting part of the story and everyone's looking forward to it so I really wanted to pump out as much as I can. But yeah, it is a bit taxing to juggle so many. I'll do as much as I can, but as I said yesterday, the release times will not be fixed.

TL: Legion   ED: Moxie


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